The Hinkley Point C new nuclear plant could see its reactor designs approved by the end of the year, it was revealed yesterday.
In its latest quarterly update of the generic design assessment (GDA) the Office of Nuclear Regulation said it would be possible to grant full design approval for nuclear reactor firm Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), which energy firm EdF plans to use at Hinkley, by the end of the year.
The GDA is a four step licensing process which considers all aspects of new nuclear reactor design excluding site specifics. The deadline had always been the end of the year but the previous quarterly report had warned that Areva was at risk of failing to resolve all outstanding issues related to the control and instrumentation aspect of the design.
But the regulator’s lates report states that it is “pleased” that EdF and Areva “have responded to our call to strengthen their resources and improve the quality and timeliness of their submissions”.
It added that if the two sustain the improvements for the outstanding issues to be resolved “we might be able to close all of the remaining GDA Issues by the end of the year”.